Netflix's Movie Libraries In Every Major Country, Compared

With the news that Netflix is finally cracking down on VPNs, the implication is that we Aussies will -- eventually -- be stuck with only the Australian region's content to watch. The vast majority of us only browse the correct region anyway, but it is possible (for the time being) to conceal your real location and watch US or UK Netflix. But how does each major region stack up in terms of the breadth and variety of content available -- what are we going to be missing?

Netflix's imminent VPN crackdown was inevitable; it would have been impossible for the now-planet-spanning service to offer a flat-rate, all-you-can-watch movie and TV streaming service in 255 countries and not try to keep all those countries' media rights-holders and copyright owners happy by restricting potential geo-block dodgers' access to regions other than their own.

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Here's the deal in Australia. We have a total of 2092 TV show and movie listings, a pretty decent showing considering our region launched just under a year ago with only 1120 titles. (New Zealand isn't far behind with 2043 titles, for what it's worth.) Here's how the 29 largest Netflix regions compare in diversity of content -- according to's most up to date lists -- in descending order:

USA: 5760 Canada: 3606 Argentina: 3579 Brazil: 3558 Mexico: 3550 Colombia: 3526 UK: 2990 Ireland: 2984 Switzerland: 2185 Denmark: 2146 Norway: 2119 Sweden: 2118 Finland: 2093 Australia: 2092 New Zealand: 2043 Belgium: 2037 Luxembourg: 1971 Netherlands: 1900 France: 1882 Germany: 1813 Austria: 1778 Japan: 1776 Spain: 1291 Italy: 1187 Poland: 783 Portugal: 767 India: 751 Russia: 734 South Korea: 664

So, as you can see, amongst the most populous and popular Netflix regions, we're around the middle in terms of the breadth of content we have available on our Netflix service. We do have some titles that are only available locally or on one or two other regions, though; movies like Escape From New York (only otherwise available on Netflix France), Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (only otherwise available on Netflix NZ), Big Hero 6 (only otherwise available on Belgium and the Netherlands) and local productions like Jonah From Tonga (not available anywhere else).

Sure, the US has nearly three times as many movies and TV show series as Australia. Series like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory aren't available in Australia, and neither are movies like Star Wars: A New Hope and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. And that sucks. But Netflix is trying to bring all its services into parity around the world, with the goal of eventually being a truly global service:

If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.
  Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.
  Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.
  We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. That’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.

If you're thinking of cancelling your Netflix service just because you can only watch the region that you signed up to watch, that's up to you. But it seems pretty silly to me, because that's voting with your feet against the goal of one big global unified movie and TV streaming service. If you want it to happen, you gotta roll with the punches in the meantime.

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    Campbell, is there any way to compare, say Netflix and Stan, together and see how the two stack up against US Netflix? I've stopped using AU Netflix for obvious reasons, but the two together shouldn't be much more than $25 P/Month, so if the content comes close to US Netflix, I may consider paying for both. Ta

      That's a really good idea! Lemme look into it.

        I looked at what the various services offered some time last year, and between Stan and Netflix you pretty much had everything you wanted covered. Or should.

        Stan had more content and more variety with TV shows, Netflix had the advantage with movies. From memory, with TV, Stan had roughly 300 TV shows not shared, Netflix had 250 though there were a lot of repeating - 20 variations on Pokemon for example. Presto had by far and away the least content, but had the access to Foxtel as their advantage.

        I didnt look at movies as I have the theory that if you cant find a movie worth watching on any of them, you arent looking hard enough. And that service will eventually die off anyway.

        There werent that many shows shared between services either.

        Overall my gut was that Stan was the best option (mostly because it had 80% of the TV shows I liked), but in the end having both was the best outcome. Bear in mind that things have changed, just pointing out what I noticed when I went through it last year.

        Its an exercise well worth doing Campbell, it surprised me at the time how well Stan stood up to Netflix.

          I've done the same now that Xbox One's Stan app has come out.

          Between Netflix, Stan, SBS on Demand and ABCiview I have everything I need. Cost still works out great and everything is in 1080p 5.1 surround.

          Foxplay is still $70 for most channels and that only comes in 480p stereo.

      Seconded, that's a really good idea! I guess if you were paying for a VPN to access US content and you redirected that cost towards Stan (or Presto) you could end up with a reasonable alternative.

      Yeah my thoughts exactly. The money I save from unblock-us (if it becomes useless) might as well go towards a Stan & Netflix combo that hopefully will cover a decent amount of content.

      All Netflix US -
      All of Stan -
      You can use these to search between the two, however you have to set region, so it is Netflix Aus vs Stan, or Netflix US and US providers -

        I was one of Stan's first customers, then I watched everything and moved to Netflix.

        A few weeks ago I went to check back on Stan and i found that they have multiplied the number of movies they have many many times. I even watched The Equaliser which I missed out in the movies last year.

        I renewed with Stan and cancelled with Netflix. What Mr Netflix is saying is BS: how can you have license to put up Suits Seasons 1, 2 and 3 in Australia but not Season 4????????? he can talk about historical geo-licensing all he wants, it's a dirty game that people are not even interested in knowing what it is.

        With so much R18+ content on Stan who has the time for Neflix?

          how can you have license to put up Suits Seasons 1, 2 and 3 in Australia but not Season 4?????????

          Pretty easily, actually.

          I was ticked off at Stan when they first came out because they claimed to have Stargate SG-1, but they actually only had the first three seasons or thereabouts. They've rectified that since, but it's generally true that any copyrighted work can be licensed in arbitrarily small chunks.

          Even now I think Mythbusters only makes two seasons available on streaming services. Another example is Doctor Who, where only the recent seasons (from the last decade) are available.

          Undoubtedly there are others. It's very annoying, but almost certainly due to the content owners and existing licensing deals rather than Netflix themselves being contrary.

            You know more than me but still a bit different, you say some shows make only 1 or 2 seasons available on streaming, this is different from Suits Season 4 being available in Canada but not in Australia under same Netflix umbrella.

            On top of that, I could not watch Netflix anymore because most of the stuff is their low quality production. They send someone with a camera and pay them $20,000 including tickets and then they come back with a "Documentary", or people making adverticles on "TED"

            I like the movies for fun :) that's why i renewed my Stan

              Licensing is also by territory; Netflix will have a contract that says that they can make some material available in Canada, and different material available in Australia.

              If they go ahead and break that agreement, certainly it's a violation of the contract - but it's also probably a criminal offence, as copyright violation "on a commercial scale" is criminal, not civil, and carries some pretty nasty jail terms and fines. That's something which a lot of people on these forums demanding that Netflix make everything available everywhere seem to miss. Netflix CANNOT legally make the US material available. They do not have a licence to show that material in Australia; as such, if they make no effort at all to geoblock, they're failing to honour the licence and can be heavily fined (at best).

              The TED stuff is probably licensed directly from TED; pretty sure you can find the same material on YouTube. Many of the documentaries are licensed from PBS (AKA Public TV in the US).

              Personally I subscribe to Netflix and Stan (as well as Crunchyroll and AnimeLab). Both Stan and Netflix have their shortcomings. No way I'll be paying Mr Murdoch his pound of flesh, however, and Quickflix seem to be mainly a Presto reseller now.

                Let's wait till March and see if House of Cards, which is a Netflix production, will be available in all countries on day 1 :)

                I saw good movies on Presto but terrible Shows. No R18+ content whatsoever. Quickflix is a different model, mailing DVDs is a bit behind the technology of the day imho.

                Last edited 22/01/16 1:42 pm

                  I signed up for Quickflix when they first launched on the PS3, but quickly cancelled when the incredible minuteness of their free catalogue became clear. I never used their DVD shipping service (who would?)

                  They boast about how many titles they have, but over 90% of those are pay-per-view. If I'm going to pay-per-view, I can do that via several other channels; both PSN and XBox Live sell PPV titles, for example (although the PS4's video streaming is pretty much the opposite of bulletproof). In neither case is a paid sub necessary.

        Thanks for posting this - I discovered Stan now has an Xbox One App, so might get the one month free, binge watch Ash Vs Evil Dead, and then unsub...

    How are they going to tell the difference between, say Australia and New Zealand, when we share a common pool of IP addresses?

    They cant just declare VPN's illegal, thats just screaming for a class action lawsuit, so they have to be considering some other way.

    My niece has a US Netflix account. She set it up while she was living and working there, but has since moved back to Australia. Where does she stand? At the moment she's happy to access Aussie Netflix stuff, but what are their rules going to be?

    Is she "forced" to use the service she legitimately signed on for? By some arguments her Aussie access is the illegal one for that reason - and she still maintains the US address, but only spends a couple of months a year there. Is she forced to close the account and reregister for an Aussie account? Will she need two accounts?

    Far too many questions for me, and at the end of the day if they close this door another will open. It happened with music, it'll happen with TV and movies as well.

      They can declare VPN's illegal all they want but they are not in charge of making those rules, governments are. They can however identify users that are using VPN's and kick them off their service. Nothing wrong with that legally. What exactly would the class action lawsuit be based on?

      Your niece does not have a 'US Netflix account'. She has a 'Netflix account'. This allows her to watch Netflix anywhere in the world where she happens to be (barring the 4 countries that don't have Netflix yet).

        I'm more wondering HOW they will police it. As the article says, VPN's have legitimate uses, so if one service forces you to disable a legitimate security option, whos to blame if something goes wrong?

        However you want to word it, its an attack on VPN's, and an effective banning of them. Its not a technical requirement, the service works with them, so its a deliberate limitation of service. Something people love to start lawsuits over. How it would work, I have no idea, but privacy issues spring to mind.

        What authority lets them sniff my PC to see if I'm using a VPN?

          What are you even talking about? All they will do is block VPN exit IP addresses. Who even watches Netflix on a PC?

          They are perfectly within their rights to block VPN users from accessing their service.

          Where is the barrage of lawsuits for every other service that blocks VPN's too?

            My network then. What is it about the internet that makes people argue over the smallest thing?

            Sheesh. Look, this is just my opinion here, but I think that there are serious privacy issues if they want to go down this path. There is NOTHING about the service that demands a non VPN method, and if they are going to be checking for it, they are looking outside the service they provide to get that information.

            Are they going to block every VPN out there? And even so, what gives them the right to judge the user over it? I just expect it will be tested, why is that something to argue over?

              From what I understand, they block the VPN addresses of services they know are aimed at getting around geoblockers, so, if you have a corporate VPN that's registered in australia and want to look at australian netflix, that's not a problem, if you have a VPN address that says it's from the US that they know belongs to PIA they would block that knowing that most likely it's being used to geoblock. That being said, the VPN providers just have to change their IP addresses once they get blocked by netflix. And so the game of cat and mouse continues, it will discourage a few people, but not the diehards and it will let netflix show the content providers that it is doing 'something' to limit access.

              ll they will do is block VPN exit IP addresses.

              No privacy issues there.

              You really think Netflix is somehow going to get into everyone's 'network' via their PC, android or apple device, chromecast, game console, apple tv and see if there is VPN running? Maybe the NSA will help them?

            @darren "who even watches Netflix on a PC"?

            My whole family. Instead of wasting money a "smart" TV I bought a micro-ITX HTPC with win10 on it, a Logitech harmony remote & Logitech small wireless keyboard however its barely used. It is a dam good experience, i run Steam games with my gamepad, watch netflix and have all the power I need with a awesome 6 feet experience. Youtube, any website all available at my finger tips from my couch. No limitations.

            @grunt your making [email protected] up. They do not "sniff my PC" they block US services such as proxy servers and ublock me etc.

      Your niece signed up for Netflix - which she still gets. It's just that content varies by geographical region, and they've never lied about that. She's still getting the service she paid for. When she goes back to the US she'll get her US content. This isn't ambiguous.

      That said, it's highly unlikely they'll do anything. Netflix did something similar a little while back, and nothing really changed. This is likely to be no different. It's going to be a token gesture.

        I've probably said it before, but I'll just say again: Your usericon is the best.

    It would be interesting to see the same stats for TV series. I think the Aussie offering haven't seen any new seasons in a long while

      They've released new seasons for a number of shows in the last few months. Some that come to mind include Homeland, Peaky Blinders, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and The 100.

      That said, I wish there was a bit more visibility of when new stuff is scheduled to be added. For instance, when is season 3 of Orphan Black going to be made available?

    I use Aus Netflix, Stan, AnimeLab and Crunchyroll all on Apple TV. (also purchase the new season of walking dead from Itunes, which airs a day after TV).
    In total around 40 dollars a month, I get to see everything I want to watch and I just use my DVR to record any other shows on free to air or watch the live sport.

    Last edited 15/01/16 1:09 pm

    we've really got to shake up the scene in australia so we can all actually get decent content @ a decent price. Voting for the LNP next election will ensure this will never happen.

      Um, this is totally outside the realm of politics. If any party was dumb enough to legislate on licensing deals (and none of them are) you'd just end up with no content at all or absurd pricing.

        Or a NBN designed to restrict streaming options.

          The NBN is irrelevant to content licensing. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. Even countries with an abundance of FTTP have regional licensing. This isn't a political issue, trying to turn it into one is clouding the issue to push your own agenda.

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